Ahead of a new studio album in early 2016, what better way to toast Motorpsycho’s 25th anniversary than with a spanking compendium of their best bits.
That said, attempting to solidify such a back catalogue onto just two discs was always going to be an awkward task, bearing in mind that Norway’s finest have dabbled in everything from country to jazz to metal, and various stations in between. And while the approach here is sensibly democratic (opting to make room for one song from each studio album, more or less), some tunes simply demand to be included.
1998’s Vortex Surfer is a given, a heaving proggy epic that builds to a screeching crescendo. And if you ever wondered how Graham Nash would sound fronting a metal band, then the sublime Cloudwalker, complete with suitably towering chorus, should scratch that itch.
The mutability of Motorpsycho music has meant that it’s existed, for the most part at least, outside of the vagaries of fashion, though it’s occasionally possible to feel the wind of the times. The grungey howl of 1993’s Nothing To Say, for instance, carries a clear imprint of Nirvana.
At their best they create a fluid dialogue of riff-rock, prog and psychedelia, as on the brilliantly wiggy Psychonaut or the digressive ramble that is The Other Fool, which eventually settles into a weird kind of ambience during which singer Bent Sæther suggests getting high and chilling out to Pink Floyd. Newcomers to all things Motorpsycho could do much worse than start right here.